Peugeot play down Sebring chances

Peugeot Sport have insisted that their Sebring 12 Hours entry is purely in preparation for Le Mans and that they will not push flat-out for victory in Florida

Peugeot play down Sebring chances

The team will run two 908 HDi FAPs in the American Le Mans Series opener on 20 March. Last year's Peugeot sole car led the early stages of the race before encountering hydraulic problems.

But team boss Olivier Quesnel says their priority for Sebring this year is just to gather pre-Le Mans mileage and that the drivers will not take any risks.

"Our mission is very clear," he said. "Our objective is to prepare for Le Mans. We won't be out to start from pole or set the fastest race lap at all costs by taking unconsidered risks. We need to progress on the technical, human and strategic fronts."

He didn't rule out the possibility of winning the event.

"That said, we won't refuse victory if it comes our way," said Quesnel.

Technical director Bruno Famin pointed out that Sebring was an ideal way to test the cars for Le Mans.

"There's a great deal about Sebring that makes it a key fixture and, as a circuit, it is representative of what we will find at Le Mans," he said.

"With the exception of the French event, it is also the longest race of the calendar, which makes it a first class chance to see how a car stands up to the grime and punishment over a long period of time.

"We have a busy, well-defined programme to work through, and we should be able to collect a large amount of data because we have entered two cars, compared with just one last year.

"We will notably be able to put the air conditioning system and the new aerodynamics dictated by the 2009 regulations through their paces."

Peugeot will stay on at Sebring to conduct a further two days of testing during the following week.

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